Central Florida Democrat U.S. Reps. Val Demings, Stephanie Murphy and Darren Soto announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is sending almost $25 million to the region “to increase affordable housing, revitalize communities, reduce homelessness, and help individuals with HIV/AIDS find suitable homes.” The funds will be divided between Orlando and Sanford and Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.
“When every family has a roof over their head, crime falls and the quality of life for our entire community goes up,” said Murphy. “While central Florida continues to grow, it has put the squeeze on affordable housing for too many families and vulnerable populations. I’ll keep fighting to secure investments like these to strengthen our economy and help more working families get ahead.”
“Affordable housing continues to be one of the biggest challenges in Central Florida. Along with another recently awarded HUD grant for $8 million, this new major $25 million federal grant will go a long way to assisting countless hard-working families in need of housing, especially in our most vulnerable communities,” said Soto. “We recognize the growing need for housing assistance in our region and will continue advocating for federal grants to address this issue.”
“Affordable housing and smart urban planning are crucial in our work to build a Central Florida that works for all of us. Every Central Floridian should be able to live in a safe, healthy, affordable neighborhood,” said Demings. “These new development grants are an important tool towards building more good-quality affordable housing, and planning beautiful and integrated communities for all of us.”
As Murphy’s office noted, the funding comes from the following four HUD grant programs:
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, which increases the supply of decent affordable housing, provides services to the most vulnerable in our communities and creates jobs through the retention and expansion of businesses. Central Florida will receive $12,913,313 in funding from this program.
The HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, which provides formula grants to states and localities that communities use—often in partnership with local nonprofit groups—to fund a wide range of activities including building, buying, and rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people. Central Florida will receive $5,350,486 in funding from this program.
The Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program, which provides funding to engage homeless individuals and families living on the street, improve the number and quality of emergency shelters for the homeless, provide essential services to shelter residents, rapidly rehouse homeless individuals, and prevent people from becoming homeless. Central Florida will receive $1,047,258 in funding from this program.
The Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) Program, which makes grants to local communities, states, and nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families. Orlando will receive $4,059,257 in funding from this program